The Canadian Political Landscape Changed Following the 2015 Election

By André Faust

Stephen Harper did the honourable thing and accepted total responsibility for his failure and his party’s failure of re-election. “The disappointment you also feel is my responsibility and mine alone.”

What caused this unprecedented change of government? The Liberals were in third place to move be the ones to gain more than enough seats to form the majority.

During this campaign across the nation the election was not an election to vote someone in, it was an election to vote Stephen Harper out. The reasons were many.

What seemed to have caused the demise of the Harper and his party was the way he did things, His Omnibus bills, him proroguing parliament on numerous occasions. His compulsive obsession to be in control to the point were in muzzled his own party members and essentially gave them a script to present to the public. His lack of response to missing and murdered women, his environmental policies. The Unemployment Insurance reforms that essentially disqualified the seasonal worker for collecting benefits after they paid into the unemployment fund, just to name a few.
Canadians understood effects of voter split, in the 2011 election Stephen Harper had only 40% of the popular vote yet had surpassed the required seats for his party to form a majority.   As a counter measure to split voting, Canadians voted strategically voting for the candidate who was not a conservative and who had the best chance of defeating a conservative candidate.

The Harper experience gives a lot of credence to why we should abandon first-past the post voting system to a more democratic proportional representation system of elections. In the upcoming months, Canadians will hear more about proportional representation as an alternative to first-past the post.


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